Space Opera With a Twist

Welcome to August

The summer is already almost two-thirds over. And what a weird summer it’s been so far. Still, there’s more to come. Our twenty year old cedar fence, which remains standing mainly out of habit is coming down at the end of the month, replaced by a PVC fence that should outlast me. It’ll be an interesting week around the Casa de Thomson, followed by another interesting one 3-4 weeks later, when the house’s outside envelope finally gets replaced after almost fifty years – new siding, soffits, fascia, gutters and downspouts. That’s the upside of the travel ban: we can redirect our disposable funds to home renovations that were coming overdue.

Edited to add: Heh! No sooner did I publish this that the fencing company contacted me to see if we were ready for them tomorrow. That, friends, is 2020 in a nutshell: adapt and overcome. Our neighbours on one side are away on holidays. They’ll find the new fence in place when they return. Surprise, surprise!

In other news, my editor is still busily working on A Colonial Murder (Constabulary Casefiles #2). Initial feedback is good, which means I shouldn’t face much work in terms of finalizing it, so I think we’re still on track for a late August release date. In the meantime, Deadly Intent (Ghost Squadron #2) is more than halfway written, so I think an October release date is feasible.

Finally, since humor is important, I leave this sign of the times for my fellow Army veterans, who’ll get the joke. Those who don’t can look up “Claymore Mine” on


Stay safe and healthy, fellow humans. Peace.



  1. xromad

    I love the mask! Where can I get one?

    I rotate through few:
    one with a picture of an A-10 Warthog and the logo “Saving Grunts since 1977”; another has “Don’t Mess with A-10 OR BRRRTTT”; then there is the stylized front of an A-10 complete with the GAU-8 muzzle. I also have one with “2nd Armored Cavalry” and its crest plus one that says “This Mask is as Useless as the Governor”. I also have a couple of shemaghs, one OD with a Gadsden rattlesnake pattern and one with a red white and blue stars and stripes pattern.

  2. Eric Thomson

    Here you go:

    I only have simple black ones, but I’ve been thinking of getting a few custom ones made up based on my books.


  3. Bob

    Just a suggestion- when replacing soffits, get the ventilated kind, and have them make sure the roof ventilation is increased (there is a way to calculate how much). It will decrease attic temps and keep the shingles cooler, thus last longer.
    -one who has seen both.

  4. Mike Strong

    I went through Basic (US Army) in 1970 and one of the instructors told us of a story about a NCO who was demonstrating a claymore mine in Germany. Apparently he forget to read the front towards enemy part and killed himself and a few of the spectators. I never saw this confirmed so it might have been a DI myth to train the newbies but you never know.

    • xromad

      Most likely it was BS as the Army NCOs I knew would not have made such a mistake. Besides most of the training I saw with Claymores was with inert training versions. We had Army SP4’s as drivers for the M113s we used for Tactical Air Control (they had our Air Force radio pallets mounted in them) and I helped those guys study and practice for various tests including placing and “arming” Claymores. On the other hand if some idiot connected the M57 before the Claymore was armed and the wire strung back, I can see it being possible to be accidentally detonated before the person emplacing it was clear.

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